Saturday, May 16, 2009


As the first storm begins to move into Cortland County after putting down 3/4" hail in King Ferry, a new batch of storms has prompted a warning for Tompkins County and points west. As of now, the worst of this storm looks to be heading along Route 13 and points south, arriving in Ithaca roughly at 4:30, and Dryden about 4:45. As you can see on the radar, this storm is bulging eastward in the middle. That is a classic bow echo signature, which is indicative of some very strong winds. Those in Ithaca and Dryden will want to rush to bring in lawn furniture and anything else that can blow around!


I have been tracking a storm that now has a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Southern Cayuga and Northern Tompkins and Cortland Counties. Here is the radar at 3:09 PM.

This storm likely has damaging winds and hail with it. Also, there is some rotation in this, which indicates more that it is a healthy, dangerous storm than a chance for a tornado. Please let me know if you have wind damage/hail! Take pictures if possible!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

A Look at Watch #280

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch that stretches across almost all of New York State. It remains in effect until 7pm tonight. Here is a look at the exact counties it includes. As you can see, Tompkins, Cortland and S. Cayuga are right in the middle of it.

The main threat from this event is going to be damaging winds. Hail will also be possible, and my gut feeling is there will be a tornado somewhere in the watch box. The official probabilities that the SPC has put with the watch:
Probability of 2 or more tornadoes

Low (20%)

Probability of 1 or more strong (F2-F5) tornadoes

Low (5%)

Probability of 10 or more severe wind events

Mod (60%)

Probability of 1 or more wind events > 65 knots

Mod (30%)

Probability of 10 or more severe hail events

Mod (30%)

Probability of 1 or more hailstones > 2 inches

Low (20%)

Combined Severe Hail/Wind
Probability of 6 or more combined severe hail/wind events

High (80%)

Since it is at the top of the hour, the current observations and indicies will not be in for another 20-40 minutes. Looking at the data from noon, though, it is obvious to me that the atmosphere is quickly destabilizing. Also, a pocket of strong winds in the upper atmosphere is beginning to move into Western New York, and will spread over the rest of the state, enhancing the thunderstorms. Storms are going to develop from west to east, and have already begun to fire up across Western New York, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. These storms should organize into a squall line eventually, which is when the greatest threat for wind damage will be. The highest tornado and hail threat will be just prior to that, when the storms are more individual cells.

Be sure to keep checking back through the afternoon for the latest!

First Watch of the Season!

12:45 Update: Severe Thunderstorm Watch issued! Full blog post analyzing the situation coming...

The Storm Prediction Center has outlined Central and Eastern New York as an area where a weather watch will "likely" be needed. The watch will likely be issued by 1PM. Stay tuned! I am watching this carefully and will have the watch up on the site within moments of its issuance!

>Click here for your full forecast